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NEW! THE WAY I SAW IT (PART 5)

February 16 2017 at 2:50 PM
LJF  (Login LJF)


Response to The 'Italian thug' in WOTD – Piet Schweer

 
THE WAY I SAW IT (PART 5)
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(By Piet Schweer, February 11 2017)

Hi to all Bruce Lee fans in South Africa.

Again, I kept you waiting for another part of my little column. For over a month, I was cruising the rivers of Vietnam, with very little Internet and even less time.

So, there I was on the set of “The Way of the Dragon” at the Golden Harvest Studios in Kowloon / Hong Kong. Bruce Lee himself invited me to take part in his movie. Right away, the same day. He told me, that my presence would be needed for a couple of days (at the end, it was almost 3 weeks) and that I should wear the same clothes upon return the next day. I agreed to. Much too fast as I did not consider, that it was very, very hot in Hong Kong. I cannot remember if the studio was air conditioned, rather not, as all people engaged in action were sweating a lot including me. Therefore I had to wash and dry my shirt every night. (Drying a shirt with over 90% humidity is something special)

At my first day at the studios, they were shooting the scene in Jon Benn´s office and my job was just standing behind the desk, together with another guy, flanking Jon Benn as some sort of bodyguard. Well, I thought, that is easy. But it wouldn´t stay that way. Standing there, I got my first impressions about how Bruce Lee is approaching his scenes and how he is working. I am talking about the scene, where Bruce Lee entered Jon Benn´s office and kicked the lamp at the ceiling. To me, the lamp looked so high up, that I had strong doubts, that anyone would be able to kick that high. Bruce Lee did a brief warm up and began to rehearse his scene. Over and over again, he entered the room, looked grim at Jon Benn and kicked somewhere into the air beside the lamp. It took quite a while until several other people at the set were satisfied. I had no clue, at that time, who was doing what and had which position.

Finally the real take. Bruce Lee came into the office, grim looking, kicked and scattered the lamp. That only took one take, because Bruce Lee rehearsed thoroughly and extensive. I could not believe my eyes. For the first time I got an idea about what it takes to be a Kung Fu superstar.

Once in a while, Bruce Lee left the studio and I was told, that he is going over to another building, where the cutting is done. Obviously, since the filming was done on celluloid and developing took time, he must have checked on film scenes taken some days before. Means, that Bruce Lee had to concentrate on the actual shooting and the next minute on already finished content.

Later that day, the conversation scenes between Bruce Lee and Jon Benn were taken. Most extras were off the set, only myself and the other bodyguard hat to hold out, standing still in the background behind the desk. The rehearsals took hours, at one time Bruce Lee was not satisfied, another time the cameraman etc.. I do remember, that it took a while to get the right expression into Jon Benn´s face. He just could not look as bad as they wanted him to look. This scene was not done with just one take, it took several. I was getting pretty bored, as I had to stand still the whole time. But Bruce Lee never lost his patience, explained over and over again, how he pictured the scene until he and the others, were satisfied.

That was my first day on the set to “The Way of the Dragon”. An easy one for me. The action should take place the next day, or for you, in part 6 of my little column.

Btw. If you like my little column, please like it.


Part 5 link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1588714478103246/permalink/1644635189177841/

 
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  • Good read, thanks LJF! - Jacky on Feb 17, 2017, 1:19 AM
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  • That FB is closed to public. Shame! - JACKY on Mar 4, 2017, 4:12 AM
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